I received a phone call from an alarm company offering a Free Home Alarm System for my house with a three year monitoring agreement for $27.99 plus tax = $29.40 per month for monitoring.
After answering one question about my home - “Is the basement unfinished or finished” the sales person on the other end of the phone immediately spewed off a couple of feature benefits of his alarm system and then jumped right into closing the sale and booking the installation which the sales rep said could be done the very next day.
Puzzled – I replied over the phone “Tomorrow is Sunday do your installers work on Sundays?” “ Oh yes” replied the sales person “I have installation times available in your area starting at 9:00am tomorrow morning”.
“OK I replied, but I’d like to know more about the equipment? You don’t know anything about my home …. how do you know how many door, window, smoke, fire, motion, fire, flood sensors or keypads I need”. “Well the basic system is for Free and includes, 1 keypad, 2 door contacts, 1 motion detector, 1 siren and one backup battery”. “You mentioned a smoke detector at the beginning is that included?” I replied. “No sir the smoke detector is not included in the FREE system, it would be another $150 dollars”
“I’ve got 4 outside doors and 3 levels in my home home what if I want more sensors” “Just one minute replied the sales representative – I’ll transfer you to my supervisor”
Next the supervisor got on the phone and said “Hello my name is Kevin, I understand you have some questions” “Yes Kevin I replied, I’m interested in an Alarm system but my house has 4 man doors, 2 patio french doors, and two large sliding windows that are easily accessible from the outside how much would extra sensors be for each of these”
“No problem” replied Kevin “Door sensors are an additional $50 each so 5 extra door sensors would be $250 dollars”. “What about extra motion sensors?” I queried. “How many do you think you’ll need replied Kevin?” “I don’t know I said, I think I’ll need at least 4” “Ok Kevin said normally motion sensors are $150 each but I’ll give them to you for only $100 each installed!” “I see” I replied “and then you said smoke detectors are an additional $150 each, I’ve got two in my house one on each level so that would be another $300? “I tell you what” said Kevin, “If you need two smoke detectors I’ll give you both for $200 hows that sound”. “OK I guess, Do you also have water or flood sensors?” I asked. “Sure said Kevin, a water/flood sensor would be another $100 dollars”. “What about a high-low temperature sensor?” “That would also be another $100 dollars” said Kevin, “OK I replied and lastly I guess I would need another keypad in my bedroom what’s the cost on that? I asked. Kevin replied “An extra keypad would be $150 dollars”. “Ok, so summarize all this for me will you Kevin”. “Sure Mr. Serink, our basic GE Allegro alarm system with all the extras including 5 extra door contacts, 3 additional motion sensors, 2 smoke detectors, 1 water/flood sensor, 1 high/low temperature sensor and 1 extra basic keypad in your bedroom would cost $1100 dollars installed plus $29.40 per month monitoring for 3 years, would time would you like to book the installation sir?” Kevin replied. “Actually I’m not interested Kevin” I replied, “I am in the alarm business and sell and install alarms also so I Thank You for your time and information and wish you all the best” Kevin “Goodbye – have a nice day”.
Like many so called FREE alarm systems, they’re not really ‘Free’ if they are designed properly to provide proper safety and security to the home owner. Kevin’s so called ‘Free’ system would have ended up costing me $1100 to begin with and then another $1058.40 for monitoring over the three year term for a total of $2213.40 including tax – Hardly Free! and that’s for a basic, stripped down GE Allegro wireless alarm system with large obtrusive door contacts, basic keypads and minimal features.
Comparing Kevin’s offering to what my company Ion Security would have spec’d in the same house. A state of the art 2-Gig Alarm panel, stylish looking complete with an LCD touch screen and voice talking keypad. Slim, stylish, THIN door and window contacts, 2 smoke detectors and hi/lo temperature sensor and flood sensor with and extra keypad in the bedroom. In addition to the basic alarm features the state of the art, modern 2-gig panel also contains a built in z-wave transmitter which can be used for home automation applications to control door locks, heat, air conditioning and lighting. As well the 2-gig panel has the option for wireless GSM cellular monitoring and wireless iPhone internet connectivity options. The GE Allegro unfortunately is a basic, simple wireless alarm panel and doesn’t have any of these features.
So what would an ION Security Alarm System with a state of the art 2-gig Panel cost for this same home with the same amount of equipment and sensors, only better more advanced equipment … How about $950 dollars for the equipment, $99 for the installation and basic standard monitoring services of only $21 dollars per month for a total cost of $1857.45 of the same three year period. That’s a savings of more than $355 dollars. That’s right the total cost of an ION Security Alarm System with better state of the art, full featured equipment would COST LESS – Than a so called FREE SYSTEM, with Free Installation.
So what’s the catch? We’ll the catch is there is no such thing as a “Free Alarm System” and if the system is Truly Free then the security and protection is provides is minimal and misleading.
Every spring, summer and fall our mailboxes get filled with so called “Free Alarm” coupons and offers, our door bells get rung at dinner time with a you colleague kid trying to make a buck during the summer time selling alarms door to door telling home owners their giving their alarms away for ‘Free’ because they want to place a sign on their front yard, the only catch is their basic standard monitoring fees are $33-$49 dollars a month. Our phones ring every month with another alarm company giving away alarm systems for “Free” to lucky households or qualified home owners, with only a limited number of “Free” systems available in your area, once again these “Free” offers are really deceptive selling practices and home owners should be cautioned whenever entering into these type of deals.
Your family is the most important and precious gift in your life and your home and it’s contents should should be protected accordingly. Protect your family and home with a Real Security System, professionally designed and installed specifically to meet your safety needs and concerns. Before you fall for one of these so called “Free Alarm System Scams”, Call Ion Security today at 1-888-489-5522 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a FREE No-Cost, No-Obligation, No-Pressure, in home security evaluation. You’ll be surprised to learn that our systems are better and cheaper that those so called “Free Alarm Systems”.